What It’s Like Dating an Author
On August 28, 2015 | 0 Comments

After a particularly interesting date that I went on this past year, along with remarks from friends, it has finally sunk into my mind how dating someone who always has thoughts of other, more adventurous, exciting worlds always floating in their mind can influence their outlook on life, and how others view them. Aside from enduring hard life hurdles (aka writing inspiration) like health issues, love, loss, etc., I tend to find my mind in some faraway place more often than not. So when I go on a date, a lot of avenues open up for me.

  • I ask tons of (fun) questions and spend most of the time listening. If the man sitting across from me, like the one on the date I mentioned previously, seems like a closed can of Campbell’s Soup when it comes to sharing, I make a point of becoming the can-opener to his Tomato Bisque until the conversation is free flowing and easy. They, in turn, end up asking me a lot of questions now that they have allowed themselves to be comfortable. They soon find out that I’m writing a book, although I don’t technically call myself an author just yet, and are fascinated that I have the focus to sit down and type enough words on enough pages in Microsoft Word that would constitute sufficient ‘novel length’, and swear up and down they have a fleeting attention span while commending me on my efforts.
  • As I’m listening to what they are saying, my story-creating-brain is concocting their back-story with the information shared and noting the holes in said story that filling in on a first date may constitute as probably too personal to reveal too soon. I make a note of delving into that subject before the end of the next date in order to confirm that I am not dating the next Craigslist Killer who just so happens to also have a Match.com account.
  • I pay attention to whether or not I had to do most of the entertaining in order for the interaction to be successful (read: successful = both parties laughing and having at least a decent time). If I had to do most of the leg-work then I’m not interested in another date. I don’t need the man across from me to be as animated and silly as me, but finding a partner who can make me laugh, is a high priority, especially if earlier that day I finished writing a chapter where a character I loved died. That loss feels close to a real loss, so if he can’t make me smile after heartbreak then I’m a no-fly zone.
  • The funny stories that happen on the date stay with me for years and can end up in future projects. I remember going on a date with a guy who worked in the film industry and there was a drunken British guy who followed us around the bar all night. At the end of the night, he asked my date if it was okay to hold me. The look on his face when he was told no was similar to that of taking away a puppy’s favorite toy.

Outside of those four points, I’ve caught myself noting clever lines a date might say, which can inspire a connection, if only for a moment. Sometimes, dates repeat lines I’ve heard many before, which makes dating a sobering experience altogether. It tends to re-emphasize that finding someone with original content is very important, so it’s important to pay attention to every moment with someone new in order to not end up with plagiarized material.

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